Sir John Patrick Richardson, KBE (born 1924 in London) is a British art historian and Picasso biographer.
Youth and education
Richardson was the elder son of Sir Wodehouse Richardson, D.S.O., K.C.B., Quarter-Master General in the Boer War, and founder of London and the British Empire's Army & Navy Stores. Initially, he wanted to become an artist; he met and made friends with Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, both of whom portrayed him later. A month short of seventeen, he enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art, was called up, but soon fell ill and spent the rest of the war with his mother and siblings in London. During daytime, he worked as an industrial designer before becoming a reviewer for The New Observer. In 1950, he became acquainted with art historian and collector Douglas Cooper, sharing his life for the next 10 years.
Liaison with Douglas Cooper
He moved to southern France (Provence) in 1952, as Douglas Cooper acquired Château de Castille in the vicinity of Avignon and transformed the run-down castle into a private museum of early Cubism. Cooper had been at home in the Paris art scene before World War II and had been active in the art business as well; by building his own collection, he also met many artists personally and introduced them to his friend. Richardson became a close friend of Picasso, Léger and de Staël as well. Back then he developed an interest in Picasso's portraits and contemplated creating a publication; more than 20 years later, these plans expanded into his four-part Picasso biography A Life of Picasso, whose last volume has not yet been published.
In 1960, Richardson left Cooper and moved to New York, where he organized a nine-gallery Picasso retrospective in 1962 and a Braque retrospective in 1964. Christie’s then appointed him to open their US office, which he ran for the next nine years. In 1973 he joined New York gallery M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., as Vice President in charge of 19th- and 20th-century painting, and later became Managing Director of Artemis, a mutual fund specializing in works of art. In 1980 he decided to devote all his time to writing. Besides working on his Picasso biography, he has been a contributor to, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. In 1993 Richardson was elected to the British Academy and in 1995 he was appointed Slade Professor of Art at Oxford.
The first of four planned volumes of Richardson's A Life of Picasso biography, (originally planned to be published in one single volume), was published in 1991, describing 25 years from his birth to 1906, winning a Whitbread Award. The second volume was published in November 1996, covering 10 years from 1907–1916, covering the birth of Cubism, followed by the third volume in 2007, devoted to the period up to 1932, when Picasso turned 50. The final volume has not yet been published.
15 years after Cooper's death, Richardson published his biography (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Picasso, Provence, und Douglas Cooper) in 1999 and a collection of essays in 2001 (Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters). He was curator of an exhibition of the late Picasso with title Mosqueteros in the Gagosian Gallery in New York City. For the London Gagosian Gallery, he curated another such exhibition in 2010: Picasso - The Mediterranean Years (1945-1962), 4. Juni - 28. August 2010.
Richardson was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to art.
- Picasso, Pablo: Aquarelle und Gouachen. Dt. Buch-Gemeinschaft, Berlin 1956
- Manet, Edouard: Gemälde und Zeichnungen. Phaidon Verl., Köln 1959
- Juan Gris. Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund 1965
- Dorothy M Kosinski, John Richardson, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel: Douglas Cooper und die Meister des Kubismus. Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel 1987, ISBN 978-3-7204-0052-7
- John Richardson: A Life of Picasso: The Prodigy, 1881-1906 (Vol 1). Random House, New York 1991, ISBN 978-0-375-71149-7
- John Richardson: Picasso, Leben und Werk, in 4 Bdn., Hld, Bd.1, 1881-1906. Kindler, München 1991, ISBN 3-463-40159-2
- John Richardson: A Life of Picasso: The Cubist Rebel, 1907-1916 (Vol 2). Random House, New York 1996, ISBN 978-0-375-71150-3
- John Richardson: Picasso, Leben und Werk, in 4 Bdn., Hld, Bd.2, 1907-1917. Kindler, München 1997, ISBN 3-463-40143-6
- Richardson, John (1999). The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, und Douglas Cooper. ISBN 0-226-71245-1.
- John Richardson: Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters: Beaton, Capote, Dalí, Picasso, Freud, Warhol, and More. Random House, New York 2001, ISBN 978-0-679-42490-1
- John Richardson, Marilyn McCully: A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 (Vol 3). Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2007, ISBN 978-0-307-26665-1
- Richardson, John; Richardson, Brenda (2009). Warhol from the Sonnabend Collection. Rizzoli. ISBN 0-8478-3277-5.
- Richardson, John; Holloway, Memory; Hart, Dakin; Koons, Jeff; Parmelin, Helene (2009). Picasso Mosqueteros: The Late Works 1962-1972. ISBN 978-0-8478-3299-6.
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1999, p. 4
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1999, p. 9
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1999, p. 11
- ^ The Guardian: Demons and beefcake – the other side of Francis Bacon. By Charlotte Higgins, 22. November 2009, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ The Guardian: Sado-masochism and stolen shoe polish: Bacon's legacy revisited Art historian John Richardson's revelations on the troubled artist he knew as a young man. By Charlotte Higgins, 22. November 2009, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1999, p. 14
- ^ Charlie Rose: A rebroadcast of a conversation with John Richardson. Video, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1999, p. 9/10
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1999, p. 15
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1999, p. 87ff.
- ^ John Richardson: The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper., p. 23-24
- ^ a b The Guardian: Picasso nearly risked his reputation for Franco exhibition Had he accepted it would have been major coup for Falangists and destroyed Picasso's status as hero of left, says biographer. By Charlotte Higgins, 28. Mai 2010, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ a b THE AI INTERVIEW: John Richardson. Artinfo. By David Grosz, May 29, 2008, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ a b Random House: John Richardson
- ^ The New York Review of Books: John Richardson, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ The New Yorker: John Richardson, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ Vanity Fair: John Richardson, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ The New York Times: More on the Career of the Genius Who Boldly Compared Himself to God. By MICHIKO KAKUTANI, November 6, 2007, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ The Observer: Master chronicler of a flawed genius. He befriended Picasso and has dedicated much of his life to a magisterial biography of the artist. The third volume is about to be published, with a fourth promised. But at 83, will the great obsessive finish his life's work? By Andrew Anthony, 7 October 2007, retrieved August 13, 2010
- ^ Gagosian Gallery, London: PICASSO - THE MEDITERRANEAN YEARS (1945-1962), retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ The Guardian: Picasso shows a softer face in London. The artist's later statues and ceramics, on show at the Gagosian gallery's Mediterranean Years, reveal a tender family man, retrieved August 13, 2010.
- ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60009. p. 24. 31 December 2011.
- ^ New Year Honours List 2012: full list, Telegraph.co.uk